The Author Salon Profile-to-Marquee Process
Writers at Author Salon get published the old fashioned way. They earn it.
Author Salon exists for serious fiction and nonfiction writers who wish to engage in the productive evolution of their projects, as well as their skills and technique, regardless of whether they intend to become published by a major house or independent press, or self publish. We strongly feel that the rigor and demands of our process and writer workshops will irresistibly winnow the serious writers from the hobbyists, and we create a strong but fair system of checks and balances to assure the best projects will take center stage. Having said that, please know that despite the disciplinary nature of our process, we maintain an atmosphere of compassion and patience, and will not allow AS staff or members to create conditions that compromise that atmosphere.
At its core, Author Salon and its writer workshops are about teaching and nurturing the art of good storytelling, whether it be a story that is true, nearly true, or absolute fiction. Below is a relatively simple and straightforward step-by-step guide for utilizing Author Salon to effectively enhance your novel or non-fiction project, as well as network you and augment your own skills and knowledge base until you reach the level you must achieve in order to be as competitive as possible.
Points and Steps: In Production I to Marquee
Summary Version by Steps
- Take Time to Complete and Edit Your Project and Bio Profile
- Proceed to AUTHOR SALON CONNECT, Create Your Profile and Introduce Yourself in The Shout Out Forum - take as much time as you need to edit and polish your profile
- When Ready, Create IP I "Call for Group" Post at Author Salon Connect
- Form Your "In Production I Peer Group" (IP I) via AS Connect and AS Search and Browse
- Create IP I Forum Post at Author Salon Connect For Peer Discussion of of Your Project
- Update and Improve Profile as Appropriate Based on Critique
- Continue Work and Interaction in IP I Forum as Needed
- When Ready, Utilize Critique Space (found in each writer's profile under APPS and as a TAB above the writer's photo) to Call for Profile Critique-and-Vote From Peer Group
- If 3.75 Rating Not Achieved Continue Work and Edit as Necessary (see Critique Space Guide for details) - Post Plan Addressing Edits in Personal Blog
- When Ready, Call for a Second Vote From Peer Group to Secure 3.75 Rating
- If Rating Secured, Petition Author Salon to Advance to Editor Suite (see #6 below) - Post Plan Addressing Edits in Personal Blog and Update Profile As Necessary
- Create Editor Suite "Call for Peer Group" Post at Author Salon Connect
- Form Editor Suite Peer Group (ESPG)
- Create ESPG Post at Author Salon Connect For Peer Discussion of Your Project
- Continue to Update and Improve Profile as Necessary
- Upload and Exchange Your First 50 Pages via Your ESPG in Author Connect
- When Ready, Utilize Critique Space and Call for Profile Critique-and-Vote From Peer Group
- If 3.75 Rating Not Achieved Continue Work and Edit - Post Plan Addressing Edits in Personal Blog and Update Personal Profile as Needed
- Call for Second Peer Group Vote if Necessary
- At Such Time Rating Achieved, Request a Final Vote From ESPG Resident Mentor
- If Resident Mentor Agrees, Petition Author Salon to Advance to Marquee Status
- Upon AS approval, Project is Presented to the Marquee Jury Panel for review
- If Marquee Level Achieved, Writer Continues Work on MS as Needed to Prepare For Submission to Agents and Publishers
1. Complete your project and writer profile to the best of your ability. Take as much time as you need. Whenever necessary, return to edit and improve. You must read the AUTHOR SALON PROFILE GUIDE before your first attempt in order to make your project appear as sharp and marketable as possible right from the beginning.
NOTE: best to use Firefox or Google Chrome at such time you work on your profile since those two browsers are more likely to enable spell check as you type.
In the midst of all this, at such time you feel fairly comfortable with your profile, go to AUTHOR SALON CONNECT, fill out your separate profile there (don't worry, far quicker and easier) and announce your presence in the "Shout Out" forum.
2. Once you've absorbed the information in the Profile Guide and completed or edited your profile pages to the best of your ability, you need to begin the critique process. At Author Salon you will work to ascend through various levels of critique provided by both peers and professionals in our writer workshops at Author Salon until you and your project achieve the necessary status.
Your first stage at Author Salon is known as IN PRODUCTION I.
3. In order to initiate the critique process you must select your first Author Salon Peer Group. This will be known as your "IP I Peer Group" and you will largely rely on them to critique your work in various categories and assist you in advancing to the next level at Author Salon known as Editor Suite.
It is your responsibility to form your peer group. You do that in two ways. First, by putting out a "Call for Group" in the proper genre on the AUTHOR CONNECT FORUM to meet other writers. Second, by researching writers in your genre and "friending" them using the Author Salon "friend" feature, and then asking them to come to your forum post on Author Salon Connect and become acquainted. You must find at least five other writers to form your peer group. Keep in mind that you are agreeing to critique their work also! And will it take time? Yes, of course. You need to be faithful to the process. Impatience is not your friend, and if you are impatient in general, you will never be published.
4. Once the above is accomplished, and you believe your project profile is as ready as it can be, you must form a critique topic for yourself in the Author Salon "In Production I" forum (this same process holds for Editor Suite below). Choose your genre first, then enter the proper forum and post a new topic with your name, genre and title (Margaret Chambers - Women's Fiction - "Three For Crete, One For Cannes"). This can be now be productively utilized by you and your peer group to discuss your work and make improvements following Author Salon guidelines. It can also be used to provide additional narrative samples, if necessary, for purposes of review, and each writer's blog can be used for the same purpose.
Keep in mind at all times, especially if you are writing in specific genre, to strive for a "high concept" story premise insofar as humanly possible. In other words, a story that sounds commercially viable and sufficiently unique to capture and hold the interest of an agent or publisher. Know that your competition is fierce.
Once you believe you are ready and your project is sufficiently improved, you make an official critique request of your peer group. In other words, you ask your peer group to use the "Critique Space" feature (Tab to the right, just above your profile photo, and drop down selection from "Apps" link in menu above) in your profile to critique and rate your work in your profile (only work as you present it in your profile, not work emailed to your peer group). You must eventually obtain an overall rating of 3.75 stars by averaging all four critique categories. Once this is done, you may petition Author Salon to allow you to advance to Editor Suite.
Regardless of ratings achieved, you must post a detailed plan for addressing all needed project edits on your personal blog found on your profile page under "Apps" link. AS staff will review the blog plan and interface with you as needed.
5. Following your first official profile critique and rating by your IP I Peer Group--and assuming you did not score a 3.75 star average--continue the process until you can average 3.75 and qualify to petition for Editor Suite.
NOTE: the results of valuable critique that enable you to improve your skills and your project must be demonstrated in an updated profile. In other words, your profile MUST evolve as you do, and in lock step. Writers who fail to update their profiles following official Critique Space ratings and comments by their peer group and/or additional commentary by AS staff will not be allowed to advance at Author Salon.
6. Take note! Once you've achieved the necessary rating (and it shouldn't be easy!), you petition Author Salon to advance to the Editor Suite. Author Salon staff will review your profile and critique before allowing you to advance to the Editor Suite. Keep in mind that if your project does not appear to be sufficiently developed and your peer group critique appears overall weak, incomplete, and/or overly laudatory, you will be rejected and you'll need to form a new peer group or else light a fire under the current one to do their job and provide intelligent and balanced critique!
7. Can you form a new peer group if the first one doesn't work for you, or look for new peers? Yes. Sometimes chemistry fails, or one or two members consistently rate you poorly for the wrong reasons, and you need to form a new group or gather new peers, then do so if you must. It's a good strategy to friend as many writers in your genre just in case. Regardless, if you have lived with the same peer group for six to eight months and you're spinning in place, this might be an option for you.
However, please beware that you should not PEER SHOP simply because peers are not telling you what you want to hear, rather telling you what you need to hear. Know the difference.
8. Can you petition Author Salon to advance to Editor Suite if you never get a 3.75 star average in Critique Space even after many months and two peer groups later? You will remain in In Production I status unless and until you can meet the requirements. However, Author Salon may overrule the negative reviews holding you back, work with you on a plan to improve your project, and thereby advance you to the next level. Contact us if this is the case. We're here to cajole your evolution, not hold you back.
9. Once you graduate to Editor Suite, you begin the critique process all over again, forming a peer group and using Critique Space and the Forums just as before, only this time, before you can advance to Marquee, the final level, you must receive an average 4.5 STAR vote from an Author Salon Resident Mentor (select AS authors and editors in residence at AS) to get you over the top.
Also, you must upload the first 50 pages of your project via your group forum on Author Connect. Critiques of the first 50 pages are included in a separate section in Critique Space. Guidelines for 50 page critique are included in Critique Space Guidelines section. The correct and proper approach to this critique cannot be overemphasized. Failure to execute this properly will prevent an advancement to Marquee.
Keep in mind that Editor Suite is more demanding on all levels and that experienced professionals will be reviewing your work as well as your advanced peers.
Finally, you must petition Author Salon officially, just as before, before you can graduate to Marquee. And as before, following any Critique Space reviews, you must post a detailed plan for addressing all needed project edits on your personal blog found on your profile page under "Apps" link. AS editors will review the blog plan and your project, interfacing with you as necessary regarding possible edits and changes. Also, additional readers may be brought in to read your manuscript.
Once the above is accomplished, and AS approves, each project will be submitted to the Author Salon Marquee Jury Panel which is composed of Author Salon peer writers and editors.
10. At such time Author Salon and the MJP approves, you graduate to the Marquee Forum. Once in that status, you will receive additional work or ms reviews as necessary from Author Salon staff and professionals working with Author Salon prior to submission of your ms to publishers and literary agents.
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